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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

POETRY OF PROTEST                          149

The friend to whom he sent it wrote back, and he replied with a second
poem which begins like this:

"Beasts are in the lair,
Fish are in the loch,
Once in the traps and snares, they return not."

The friend replied and he sent a third, which begins:

"Eastwards lies the sea,
Westwards lies the loch.
Distant hills appear so dim, they appear not."

And in the fourth poem he began:

'"Don't you see
The Chientang loch?
Today King Chien's palaces exist not,"

In the second poem, he got into trouble, for then he was carried away
by the thought o the fish and the beasts losing their freedom. From
then on it was only a step in thought to go on and speak about the
grisoners who were being flogged in prison and whose wives and
children were sent to jail. These were long poems, and he had to start
with the end rhyme words and build his thoughts around them. Two of
the rhyme words were "fugitive" and "describe". While in one poem
he said: "I write this poem in a hurry, like a fugitive," it was natural
for him to say in the other poem: "In a famine year there is no way of
sending the fugitives home." In using the rhyme word "describe", he
said in one poem: "The setting sun and cottage smoke are difficult to
describe"; but in the other poem about the prisoners, he also said: "It
is easy to paint a stork, difficult to describe a tiger"a clear reference
to a rapacious government.

Su Tungpo was hardly the kind of man to deny that he was happy
when he was, or to pretend that he was happy when he was not. Many
^of his friends kept up correspondence with him and they wrote poems
to each other, Liu Shu was now at Kiukiang and so was Li Chang.
Sun Chueh was at Huchow, only a short distance north of Hangchow,
These were friends who had fought together against Wang Anshih's
administration and were now serving in various capacities in the south-
east. All of them felt disgust with the state of things, for at this time
Wang Anshih was still in power, but being less headstrong, they kept
their opinions to themselves. Han Chi and Ouyang Shiu were dead.
Fu Pi and Fan Chen were living in retirement. Szema Kuang devoted